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Wildlife Diversity Program

The Wildlife Diversity Program is a new program for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, initiated in 2002 with new sources of federal funds. In its first year, the program hired a coordinator and three regional biologists with a combined total of over 85 years of professional experience in the field of wildlife. Program staff are working to develop survey, monitoring, and research programs across the state. Current staff projects include wood frog and raptor surveys in the Interior, verifying status of the Eskimo curlew, identifying and monitoring diseases and parasites, small mammal abundance and habitat use, evaluating tundra hare densities and fluctuations in western and northwestern Alaska, and investigating the ecology of boreal owls. The Program also partnered with others to investigate predator/prey relationships between golden eagles, Dall sheep lambs, and snowshoe hares; conduct amphibian surveys in southeast Alaska; and assess the abundance, productivity and life history of Neotropical Migratory birds in the Interior. To learn more, please see our brochure (PDF 1,124 kB).

Because Alaska stretches over 2,350 miles from west to east covering approximately 1/5 the area of the lower 48 states, and has limited accessibility, no one group or agency can easily assess and manage all wildlife species. To connect with various potential partners, informal discussions were held over the past year with nearly 40 agencies and organizations. In cooperation with the Division of Sport Fish, we also initiated efforts to identify wildlife and fish with conservation needs and develop a statewide conservation strategy.

The Wildlife Diversity Program hopes to work with a variety of partners to fill information gaps, and meet the conservation needs of wildlife and fish in Alaska. With updated information on species distribution and abundance, we can begin to evaluate trends and population changes, and work to keep them at healthy and sustainable levels. This will ensure that the state's full biological diversity will be enjoyed by future generations with opportunities for harvest, economic benefit, and personal viewing and recreation.